A STATEMENT FROM THE ELDERS' COUNCIL: RACISM IS NOT PROGRESSIVE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MAY 12, 2016
A bold new initiative is underway in the effort to engage Cleveland Baseball in re-branding.
On May 1, the Cleveland American Indian Movement addressed an appeal to The Progressive Corporation, headquartered in nearby Mayfield Village and a prominent sponsor of Cleveland Baseball, to meet with us within 30 days to discuss removal of the Progressive name and corporate brand from the baseball stadium until such time as both the exploitative “Indians” team name and the flagrantly racist red-faced “Wahoo” caricature are changed. We believe this tactic to be appropriate when the perpetrators of bigotry are unresponsive to repeated pleas for decency.
Furthermore, we state that the prominence of the Progressive name on the baseball stadium is in conflict with a core value listed on its website, to which the corporation bills itself as beholden:
“Golden Rule: We respect all people, value the differences among them
and deal with them in the way we want to be dealt with. This requires us
to know ourselves and to try to understand others.” [our emphasis]
We firmly believe that attaching the Progressive name to institutionalized racism directly contradicts this proclaimed core value, and sends the insidious message that racism is somehow “progressive”. In fact, the “Indians” team name and the “Wahoo” logo have faced protests since the 1950’s and at every Opening Day since 1973. Therefore the Cleveland American Indian Movement issues a challenge to The Progressive Corporation to place respect for “all people” above profit by severing its relationship with Cleveland Baseball and Gateway Sports and Entertainment Complex.
As of this date, The Progressive Corporation has not responded to our request for dialog, nor has it removed the Progressive name from the stadium. To accomplish our goals, we have crafted an online petition:
“Progressive: Remove Name From Gateway Baseball Stadium”.
RACISM IS NOT PROGRESSIVE
In the spirit of the ancestors,
AMERICAN INDIAN MOVEMENT CLEVELAND AUTONOMOUS NETWORK
For more information, contact:
SUNDANCE, Executive Director, Cleveland A.I.M.
216.533.7423 ¤ firstname.lastname@example.org